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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/18/19 in all areas

  1. 14 points
    @Markypoo not my hives , the migrants , nice guys . The coast at the bar is eroding fast . Back to cliffs with coal seams. We found some fossil rocks in the sand a month or so ago . Big chunks of compressed layered leaves . Very heavy rocks , early angiosperms I think , 80 million yrs old .
  2. 13 points
  3. 12 points
    The best pigs are always found on the neighbours place .... right. Contrary to many thoughts, ..... this little Whare did'nt cost a lot to build. I borrowed a book off my neighbour on log cabin building. If you got no land .... then you got find a piece of dirt, then you if you got no trees , you gotta find a truck load of trees .... trees are cheap right now .... all you need after that is a chainsaw and 40 litres of gas.... and the skill of a Bee Keeper with three months down time. Nothing to it !! Oh yeah, the thing I forgot, and this is the main thing guys ..... you need a woman that don't mind living in a log pile house..
  4. 10 points
    Last month of winter. Spring is just around the corner and the new bee season is starting. Best wishes for the season folks.
  5. 10 points
    Finders keepers on the beach/ river as far as I’m concerned.. I used to spend hours and days picking up building stone from riverbeds.. apparently if I used machinery I needed a consent but bare hands were fine- labour intensive but worth the effort.
  6. 8 points
    On the matter of placement. Ive always put mine in a straight line and killed the Mites but Ive also always had a split Brood as a result That is the Spring Hive has Brood at one end and stores at the other with the row of staples as the boundary. It never bothered me because at least the Hive was healthy and that really what my goal was. Recently Ive realised that the square pattern layout in the central part of the Box is probably a step up. I might try it this season.
  7. 8 points
    Just shows even a beginner can do it. Well done Hayden, if everyone was as good as you we would likely have eliminated AFB from New Zealand.
  8. 8 points
    I’ve just finished reading the first issue of Apiarists Advocate a new NZ beekeeping E magazine aimed at commercial beekeepers. First issue covers Sean Goodwin’s talk on the the Manuka honey market that he gave at conference, Bruce Clow and his ideas for a honey co-op, Allen McCaw and Peter Smyth two South Island beekeepers who supplied the old co-op talk about how it worked for them. Plus a small article on the impact of any tax that might be imposed on beekeepers and others who don’t drive/own low emission vehicles Really enjoyed it and hope it’s a successful publication . https://www.apiaristsadvocate.com/
  9. 8 points
    Slyscape for Goran!
  10. 7 points
    So was out working the hives today, before rain. Liked what I saw Alcohol washed the first hive I went into strong happy hive. 1 varroa. All the autumn strips intact completely. Replaced the whole 4 The rest of the site - a few hives had the middle two eaten out others had them partially eaten and nearly all of the outside strips were intact. All had a good bite to them. So ended up replacing the middle two or 3 strips depending on brood numbers and left the very outside strips, either both outside ones or 1 depending on how many I was replacing. Who has taste tested new strips how strong are they compared to ones we take out? I dont know if I am game to taste new ones,dislike the taste of old ones. @Philbee just a thought If you changed the colour of the stitching on the strips every few months then people could track the age of their strips by the colour of the stitching bought in certain months. just an idea. Bees drowning in large numbers in top feeders, Bees in clumps on fence posts or railings looking lost. Bees all disappeared leaving plenty of stores in hive which dont get robbed out, unlike AFB. Only half a cup or less of bees left with a queen. Collect some (20) of those last bees put in ziplock bag and send to John McKay and DNature in Gisborne for testing. Those hives that have died out in this way are treated in our operation as follows. Seperated as diseased. Old frames get all wax blasted off. If frames are good for brood those boxes go into heat tent and get heated 40-50 degrees surposedly for 2 hours but often longer. Bases lids div boards queen excluders scrapped down and either go in heat tent, or dipped in janola, or if nothing done with them in winter and we are back to hot days are laid out in sun on very hot days singly exposed to heat and sunlight. By doing this we have reduced our disease loadings and now only get the occasional sick hive. We know we had corrorapa because we tested. We know cororapa is held in the wax because we sent our wax out of sick hives (ie cut out brood wax around the surviving bees) and sent it to John for testing.
  11. 7 points
    Almost completed the first round of my own hives, they look great, with some a little too strong. Fresh staples going in with the last lot from April flicked out. Plenty of pollen coming in. Disease check, Queen check, stores, treat, full scrape down including floor. Very happy.. out of 120 odd I’ve zero dead, 2 dronelayers only one hive had DWV... and with 2 showing mites... all at the same site... It’s back to work next week...
  12. 7 points
    Here’s a few photos of the frame on the day of the inspection. Sadly a case of AFB. We had 3 cells draw out, a pupal tounge, a few other cells which also looked suspect and a bit of scale on the inside of a couple of cells
  13. 7 points
    I just spent two weeks wandering around the South Island taking an old mate on a boys trip. South Island roads are so much smoother and less potholed than the North Island roads. Beautiful bush almost everywhere and manuka all over the place including hundreds of acres sprayed to death on the Milford Road. Saw lots of hives but most seemed well spread out and not big sites. Roads were almost empty anywhere away from towns but I was a bit disappointed with roads like the hast pass and the Crown Road over Cardrona which while picturesque were not anywhere near as rugged as I was hoping for and we have more exciting roads here. Milford was a bit more real especially with heavy snow around both ends of the homer tunnel. I like where I live but the South Island is dropdead gorgeous.
  14. 7 points
    Each year the colony appears in a slightly different place and the old comb eventually Falls off.
  15. 7 points
    Beautiful day here one of those where it feels like spring is almost here. very mixed bag of hives some good some middling and some rubbish. good amounts of pollen coming in and it feels great to be out with my head in a beehive again. Ive been feeling so negative about the industry over winter I really had lost the desire to do bees anymore but am feeling much better after a day out amongst it .
  16. 7 points
    It's been a couple of great days. I got out to a site today for the first time since April, got to the third hive and take a look at the photo's. Probably close to 2FD boxes of bees in total over three boxes. The rest of the site the hives were in the 6/7 frames region so this hive has been marching to the beat of its own drum. There is an Autumn Queen in there and I always remember this hive being very happy to sting me (including a nice one in the face today), other than that otherwise normal. I gave it a pollen pattie, syrup and refreshed the OA/Gly staples and added an extra FD brood box. Next time I head out I'll probably bring the Queen back in a nuc as a breeder, and graft from her.
  17. 6 points
    Well, the big C is a big bit Chinese owned.....look at them now..... Fonterra (Fon Terror?)....Chinese deals....look them now........ China hitting production lows...massive unemployment....civil unrest..... Me thinks we should be careful what we wish for.
  18. 6 points
    Same story here . Normally I overwinter as a single with top feeder if needed , but left a box of honey on this year . Had one site of 10 hives , 9 doubles all dead , most with untouched honey super and all with capped brood . No sign of disease in the brood , but very few dead bees around either . It’s like someone came in with a vacuum cleaner and sucked up all the bees . The one single on site is still ok , but if I recall , was a late supercedure . Two other sites were humming with wasps , but in hind site , the hives were probably weakened already . Interestingly , the wasps took vespex so would suggest they are still breeding .those sites I’ve lost about 40% . End result , I’ve gone from wannabe commercial to wannabe hobbyist . Bees aren’t my main income , but they are something I really enjoy , so this still feels like a big kick in the guts . I would be the first to admit , I haven’t put as much time into the bees this year , but still did the usual treatments and disease checks , so nothing out of the ordinary there .
  19. 6 points
    In my humble opinion a lot of varroa failure is possibly cross infection. i wonder if this is partly why staples are often very effective, on going treatment to control cross infection. I have been asked to place hives on an island in the gulf that has no hives and is a wildlife sanctuary. I am dying to see how they differ from my home hives over a season.
  20. 6 points
    I am going to persevere with alternatives even though synthetics still work fine for me . I think humanities days of easy victories over all competeing life forms are over . We may be wiping out a lot of the animals we would like to have around but we have lost the initial advantage of the surprise attack with bacteria , fungi , insects that like to eat our crops, weeds we do not want in our garden etc . I have been a mostly organic gardener for 40 yrs and its bloody hard work .
  21. 6 points
    We ran them through the middle this time last season at work and found a lot of colonies split .. with brood on one side and stores the other so adapted the next round to one leg each seam alternate ends. They can’t avoid that. I run staples continuous up to the target flow... which is December , only in the brood. At harvest they run solid again through til wintering down in April May where the last treatment goes in To be replaced now with new edge protection for massive chewing.
  22. 6 points
    I run one staple “leg” in each seam of bees.. on the edge of the brood area so just touching the outside extremity of the brood. These thumping beasts were last treated with staples in April.
  23. 6 points
    Ive seen an extreme case of this that in my mind points to a common factor in the die off. My experience has been that a significant die off (2 cups) happens in about 2 or 3% of hives and that these Hives are spread throughout an outfit. However Ive once seen a spring treated site of 15 Hives all do it. So that is all 15 hives at a site doing what only 3% of Hives would be expected to do in an entire outfit. As it happened all of these 15 hives were overwintered autumn splits from a single site 20km away. All looked really promising until treated, after which I wrote the entire site off as a lost cause. 3 Hives died and the rest produced a good crop. However, that same site was part of an Autumn OA trial and even although it trialed well, it wasn't as good as the other sites. It was a low lying cold site by a river that was shaded by large Pines The site it came from was very shaded as well, but not so damp. This donor site received very little Sun all day, even in mid summer. That site that dumped Bees is still part of the trial so it will be interesting to see if it does the same this spring.
  24. 6 points
    Quick Update: All the colours are in on all 4 quadrants...finding enough Winter and Autumn pollens slowed things down. The Paper trail is a doorstop now. So its become obvious i need to put it all into a database. This first chart is a draft its a funny mix of whatever i could find world wide, so its NZ, AU, EU, dominated in plant origins. So I’m collating at least 1500 plant pollen types and colours, with whatever quality and quantity information I have found. Now that is something that will be a bit easier to share with you. Some information is unverified and the authorship is not declared, and some is peer reviewed and has been collated using standard scientific method, there will be a bibliography with the database. Hopefully people here can then use that original to improve and customise for localities. The chart image will be available for enjoyment. I think the next iteration may have to be a series of 12 separate large charts. What a strange way to have fun. But it’s fun.
  25. 6 points
    What about a system that passes the frame between two rollers, ie the honey gets squashed out rather than scraped off, leaving the bulk of the wax still attached, or sort of, to the frame ? More wax left for the bees to re-use , cleaner honey for further processing.... In fact Granny's ancient washing hand wringer's rubber rollers could easily be shaped to fit the woodwork. Stainless laundry tub with timber stiffener to take the wringer clamps. Change the sprung rotating handle on top to a quick acting cam action....Bob's yr uncle. I can smell the Rickett's Blue already !
  26. 6 points
    And no-one rang to let you know.....pack of low lifes they must be.
  27. 6 points
    With regard leaving honey on, its about principle to me I resent being in a position where all the ticket clippers get to make their margin and the poor old beek gets whats left even worse a bill'. Id rather not work hard to make them money, getting non myself. What really peeved me off was to see one extraction outfit put their prices up as Honey went down. As for your comment about why do I keep Bees, Im sure you didnt mean that in a bad way but if you did just consider for a moment that those Bees have contributed to this industry in ways that a few tonne of Honey never will. So, I have my own reasons for Beekeeping and thankfully I dont need to sell Honey but I do need my Bees. Also, Palletized Hives in the context of this discussion is about Varroa not production. Whatever studies might have been done in the past are not necessarily relevant in today's environment because today's Varroa environment is different from the past. Lots of things are different.
  28. 5 points
    TALK to those who are putting it out there congratulations. It is really hard to see losses like this , let alone share it. We all know we can feel bad finding AFB and so many do not share that from a sense of shame. I was in the dairy industry years ago when subsidies were removed and remember the toll on community and families. There will be beekeepers out there that are struggling to cope with low prices and losses like this. They can also tend to close down and not talk, stoic types you know, men's men etc. Talk to your anyone or reach out to a professional. MIke King is on your side.Do not suffer in silence.
  29. 5 points
    When I came to the bay 40 yrs ago there was lots of scappy land covered in gorse. Most of it was let go and ignored. Today that land is covered in native forest with no one lifting a finger to plant anything or remove the gorse .
  30. 5 points
    Totally agree Matt. We have planted lotsa tree here over the years. We bought this gorse ridden block many moons ago. It was always my dream to own a run down block and make a silk purse out of a sows ear. The second winter I was here I set to on the gorse. had an old fellah living her called Bill. he was from down central way and a horseman of repute and cooked a mean bangers an mash. The forcast was good for burning. Southerly change, much like tonight, snow to low levels . So I lit the gorse. Holy Charisma .... does that stuff burn. I came off the hill for a coffee, and said to Bill 'I lit that gully'. 'You hungry', he said ' I cooked us up some bangers'. A few minutes later the neighbour arrived. "You got a fire going up there on the hill James .... Don't worry, Uncle Grahams bringing the fire truck up" Oh Crap. Uncle Graham arrived with five of his mates trucks and a chopper on standy. The funniest thing was young John B arrived from Windwhistle in the old Chev fire truck. It had no cab . John never had such a n adrenalin rush in his life, Roaring up the road with the siren going, the wind howling , heading north where a massive glow lit the night sky behind the hills of LowMount. She was a goodie, but the snow arrived, and by the morning the gorse was gone and all wthat was left was a smouldering mass of blackened earth. We planted that earth in the spring. It was a dirty job, but twenty nine years later it is a pleasure to behold ..... a mixture of larch, oregon and corsican pine. It has colour in the spring and the autumn. On the other side of the track is a forty year old oregon block. We thinned that ten years ago, selectively logged it and built a log cabin that we flew in kit set to our over the hill tussock block ..... a pig hunting retreat for those who need to reconnect to the important things in life. The forester today asked what I wanted to plant. I hate pines. Their only use is MDF and packaging. Under the district plan here Oregon is classed as a weed, the seed is too light and carries on the wind to infest tussock land. What a load of Cod's Wallop! The log pile house would be rotted by now, the shed six by two's infested with borer .... the tree gaurds would be gone. Like I have said many times before...... my hive tool is sharp and ready for the revolution.
  31. 5 points
    I mean until I can't anymore. I bought 33 hives when I first started for $150 each off an old guy from hellensville Bruce Miller 80s plus who was happy that his hives were going to a young keen guy who would look after them and they went to a good home.
  32. 5 points
    Back in April/May I added staples to the exact same place as now.. one leg in each seam on the edge of the brood. This week was the next opening where some hives had fully removed them and or had chewed them except for the top piece over the frame. If it’s a full box of bees it gets four staples max , weaker hives get less but I just judge on population and brood amount I
  33. 5 points
    I don't know if this will help but here goes. I sugar shake two or three different hives in an apiary when I'm there. If I get three mites in a shake, all hives get treated. If less than three, I don't treat. I use the OA/Gly staples and place them usually mid-frame / on the edge of the brood and I only have one staple leg down each seam between the frames. I use three or four of these per brood box, no staples in the supers. I treat at any time of the year if mite levels warrant it. In Autumn this past season I didn't lose hives to varroa, whereas in the previous few Autumns I was losing plenty. From November to mid Feb was just too long to leave hives untreated in our area(s) I find the monitoring / sugar shakes a bit painful, I'd rather be doing something else......but it does inform you about what you need to do. I've had perfectly good looking strong hives that have sugar shaked above three and been very surprised.....if I hadn't treated they'd be very damaged by the next round.
  34. 5 points
    Today is the start of the next phase of beekeeping . Late winter. The bees are just starting to build up and are very busy bringing in white pollen, which must be gum and tree Lucerne. The bees look the healthiest I've seen in a very long time at this time of the year. Of course , I credit @Philbee's Staples. So, in line with what I now understand to be best practice, the February Staples have all been removed , and to be honest , they look 'spent' , and have been replaced with brand new Staples smack bang in the brood. In most cases , it is 2 Staples per hive, which will get added to each visit as the brood increases. I like to have one leg of a staple touching brood, leaving no frames of brood untreated . Add to that, a full shake down of all brood frames for a full AFB check , as well as a scrape down of propolis and wax off the interior of the boxes so frames slide easily for future frame manipulation. One hive nailed my beesuit leaving a raft of stings behind , many penetrating and getting me . This behaviour is unacceptable and the queen is marked for despatch a bit later on. She is a new late autumn supercedure queen .
  35. 5 points
    That is extremely good observation for a beginner Well done 😊
  36. 5 points
    Anything that Ive read regarding treatment free beekeeping relies heavily on brood breaks and anyone who raises queens will know that the nucs those queens are raised in have barely a mite in them for the entire queen raising period purely off the back of brood breaks. To me treatment free beekeeping is an entirely different thing to varroa resistant or tolerant bees . I don’t believe anyone has varroa tolerant bees that can survive without adding brood breaks into the mix. What obvious reasons ?
  37. 5 points
    Bees loving the hazel pollen during these still warm days
  38. 5 points
    We’ve had plagues of wasps coming into the house , as well as hammering a couple of our sites , so I put some vespex out yesterday, and the wasps were straight into it . Checked this morning and they had taken the lot so fingers crossed it wipes out a few nests .
  39. 5 points
    No it’s the top of one of 2 columns, 3.4 m high supporting exposed macro roof trusses, been my winter job.
  40. 5 points
    Lol More like a summary of what Staples Ill be using this season. Wides will be 4 layers and narrows six layers I only use Edge protected. Some will have hemp between layers but they cost me heaps to make Some will be made with organic cotton which is 10 times the price of polyester and is imported from the US. Ill be looking very closely at my 40% ratio and playing round with building some sort of data set on what happens between 40%and 44% because there is a fine line there. Spring Efficacy trials will look at chewing rates of the EP Staple which is important because the Autumn trial staples were not chewed at all but spring staples will be. This is very important data for registration. Ill probably give the 6 layer EP narrows a good blast as well. I went out and kicked some hives last week, limped home, so my first issue is going to be last seasons Honey.
  41. 5 points
    At my place is told: full-fed doesn't understand the hungry. It is hilarious when some no meat eater come and praise our food which has some animal origin.. I always say live your life and let me live my.. While I was in visit in France we eat food as all mortals from supermarkets. The meat I ate hardly go down the throat and I felt as having some stone in a belly accompanied with some unpleasant odor. If I live there more likely will eat little or no meat, since vegetables didn't taste as bad as " meat".. About these honey replacements.. I hardly believe have any positive effect on human health.. Only it is sticky and sweet.. In our local beek disputes, one beek mentioned that industrial glucose-fructose syrup encourage diabetes, to see scientific proof I have to look what research he refers to. Seems someone has too much free time, maybe to try to work some.. I would say, better they work on themselves and lead by example and lead normal human talk. Installing on force their ideas into my mind only create resistance..
  42. 4 points
    We've placed our OAG tapes with one leg down each seam of brood, even if there is only a small amount of brood in that seam; as was suggested at that time. We haven't placed OAG over bars where neither seam had developing brood. We are at sea level, relatively warm at night due to the sea. For no concious reason, I mostly alternated the placement in zig zag fashion 25% of the way along top bars, but always in contact to brood; so NOT a straight dividing line down the middle and never more nor less than one leg per seam containing brood. So far, soooooo good. Also, we were still getting through some of the old single line of stitch tapes in Autumn, we still rate the single stitching as good or better in our location. We have not seen anything special change with the overlocked edges or 4x stitching, but no complaints either. I have to confess I still have not used any of the narrows yet. I mix up the OA and G in batches to suit about 150 strips at a time, so at my scale I use 10 litre buckets and just keep the dry ones in the 20L pail.
  43. 4 points
    I wish there was a way to get hold of people for this sort of situation. Even if it had to stay private (does it?) what if you could type in a rego number, and have it email or text the owner (without you seeing the contact details). Who is served by the current system?
  44. 4 points
    Yes. It is just a misleading number, To make the customers think they are buying some high factor honey.
  45. 4 points
    And the extreme cost.. I’d be up the creek financially without these things.. and they work which is one heck of a bonus thanks Phil
  46. 4 points
    I lost my nerve today and opened a few hives a week before I intended to. They were bits and pieces around home and the main one I was worried about was an autumn swarm which I found in my boxes when doing my winter sorting so it didn't receive any treatment. It had survived the winter but was showing some PMS and chilling along with one bee with deformed wings. I mainly wanted to check this hive to make sure it wasn't infecting everything else and it certainly needed treatment plus I gave it a frame of sealed brood with young bees to make sure of its survival. The other half dozen hives I checked were all looking good. All hives had good frames of sealed brood, more than I would expect at this time of year and one breeder had drone brood between the two boxes with only one varoa evident. The autumn swarm could not have arrived before early April and I hate to think what happened to that hive to make it swarm. I don't think I could make a hive swarm at that time of year even if I wanted to.
  47. 4 points
    I saw this near Te Anau and went back for another look. He was still there the next day so I suspect too many sweads in his diet.
  48. 4 points
    Yes gold star from me also, good spotting and great the way you followed up to make sure.
  49. 4 points
    I was always taught to take things apart because it will take most the day to get it to town anyway, thankfully I have quite a variety of tools and ideas. You have to adapt and make do with what you have that's the kiwi way.
  50. 4 points
    @Hayden I’m not in your area but wanted to say how awesome it is to see a beekeeper asking for a second opinion on possible AFB it’s a big thumbs up from us here hopefully you have had heaps of people offering help
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